Lady Athletes Salute Sports By Baring One Shoulder


Yesterday, New York celebrated female athletes at the 32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports. Most of the ladies brought their A-game. But before we get to the clothes, let me confess something. In high school, I once walked forty minutes to get on a bus to a town thirty miles away because I was so terrified of playing touch football in gym class. I was the kid who let a girl copy my French homework in exchange for tagging me out (“gently, please!”) at the beginning of dodgeball. I don’t know the first thing about sports, and the only woman I recognize from this event is Michelle Kwan (because a waitress once mistook me for her). So in the spirit of the mercy that I would hope these lady athletes would show me if I, the maladroit idiot, were ever to attempt what they do, let’s kindly judge some clothes!

I don’t know about you but seeing a glittery blue scarf on Billie Jean King makes me happy. It works because the rest of her outfit is fairly reserved. I really dig the soft, natural makeup on Venus Williams. Her dress is pretty but I could do without the fussiness around the hips—is it a matching top and skirt or just a dress with unnecessary seaming around the hips? Golf player Annika Sorenstam came in the most basic dress one can wear. I appreciate that she tried to accessorize with a scarf, but I don’t see the utilitarian or the aesthetic function of a loosely-wrapped scarf with a sleeveless dress. It doesn’t look cool nor does it keep you very warm.

Soccer player Abby Wambach looks like hot shit, doesn’t she? The updated tux fits her perfectly, but those shoes were a slight misstep. Too white, and too matchy-matchy. Michelle Kwan, aka my doppleganger for all the well-meaning racists out there, looks good in purple. It’s one of those dresses that would look infinitely cuter if she had accessorized a little. Boxer Laila Ali is wearing her color too. Silver and black look great on her, but her shoes are no fun. What are glitzy red carpet events for if not for wearing some fun as hell, way out there footwear?

Dang, satin is not a very forgiving fabric is it? Ashley Hansen’s dress seems like it could have been a glamorous dress—I mean, what’s more dramatic than a black satin gown? But, the execution is all off. The bust is way too gathered, and the strange criss-crossing at the waist just looks like a construction mistake. I really love Ashley’s hair and makeup though. Softball player Caitlin Lowe looks hot to death. Maybe it’s just me, but I love it when a dress and boots look like they could really hurt someone. And bravo for accessorizing with some fun, stacked bangles! Benita Fitzgerald Mosley’s dress looks nice on her, but it’s accessorized poorly. If you’re wearing a shiny silver dress, it’s usually overkill to pair it with shiny, silver shoes.

Wow, the sparkles really came out last night! Lyn St. James is wearing a pair of flats that don’t even look comfortable and a very Liza Minnelli top. Maybe it’s just Katherine Olson’s posture, but that dress looks very awkward. The pinstripe on Phaidra Knight’s jacket and pants does not look elegant at all, and I hate that she’s wearing a white shirt with a ruffle down the front. I wish the whole ensemble looked crisper.

Cute dress on Dawn Riley, but I’d switch the shoes and ditch the ruffled hem. I kinda love that Kathrine Switzer went the long-sleeved, lush velvet route, but I think the dress would have worked better if it were entirely in velvet. The satin looks neglected and wrinkled. I love Monica Hargrove’s sleek up do, love the long earrings, and I can even get down with those sleeves, but I just can’t get myself to like a super-ruched, wraparound skirt. How do you sit in a skirt like that without showing everyone your goodies?

Generically pretty dress on Angela Hucles … next! Nancy Hogshead-Makar’s red satin gown with a bow tied up at the bust is kind of a sweetly antiquated cliché of what a red carpet gown should look like. Red is not at all her color, but I’m a sucker for big-ass grins, so I’m going to go against reason and say she looks great! I’m over one-shoulder dresses, and I’m over fuzzy-wuzzy skirts. This particular combination by Mary Ellen Clark isn’t doing anything to change my mind, either.

Generic dress. Generic shoes on Kelly Kulick. Nancy Lieberman is tan, blond, and wearing a leopard print dress. Um, this is to be expected? Diana Nyad looks sharp as hell, but if the shininess had been dialed back a notch, this would be a total home run. (Sorry! I’m trying really hard to not abuse the two sports metaphors/clichés I know.)

Yowza! Jessica Mendoza looks great. That dress is sassy and the shoes are cool. A skosh too matchy-matchy, but mostly really, really cool. I’m still over one-shoulder dresses. And also boring, basic black dresses. Sorry, Lori Lindsey. I don’t get why so many designers do this thing of adding all this extra fabric and twisting and manipulating it right at the waistline. Don’t most women want their waists to look smaller, not bulkier? Sarah Huffman’s dress is okay, except for the unnecessary stuff going on at the waist.

Wendy Hilliard dress is basic black done right. Man alive, Kristen Kjellman looks sassy. I kind of love the doll ringlets she’s rocking. There’s something off about Christy Hedgpeth’s outfit. Her dress is so fancy, but her hair is so dull. Not that you need to wear fancy hair with a fancy dress, but I wish she had done something to it.

I like the touch of sparkle to Carli Lloyd’s dress, but dislike the twistiness of the fabric at the bust. Hair is gorgeous though, and good accessorizing with the cluth. As for Justine Siegal and Heather O’Reilly: basic black dress and basic black dress.

Oh c’mon. Do I have to say it again? Soccer player Julie Foudy is in a basic black dress. But look! It has a subtle cowl neck. Ahh, why does everything have to be so ruched and so wrinkly looking? Erika Lang looks great in that shade of blue (or is it purple?) but the dress is a teensy bit too short and I’ve already ranted enough about how much I hate it when designers manipulate the fabric like that…. I’m biased against Camille Duvall-Hero because her dress looks like something a Kardashian would wear.

A bandage dress and a bandaged foot! Ice skater Sarah Hughes’s dress, earrings, and clutch are cute, even though they don’t go together. Emily Cook’s dress doesn’t work for me. The sparkly criss-crossing looks cheap. I like Maya Moore’s dress, but I hate that cardigan. Maybe she was just cold, but it doesn’t even look very warm.

Basketball player Tamika Catchings looks absolutely stunning in that gown. She somehow made cheetah print looks subtle and wearable, and I’m so happy to see how well that dress fits her. Skateboarder Lyn-z Adams Hawkins has an interesting way of spelling her name, but that dress is pure bridesmaid at the wedding of a friend who doesn’t have great taste. Snowboarder Jamie Anderson is in a fairly basic, black dress, but I like how it looks kind of reptilian.

Skier Lindsey Van is wearing a pretty, fluttery black dress, and those are some rocking’ teal crutches. Peggy Llewellyn’s dress is way too shiny, and Shasta Averyhardt’s dress is way too bright. Also, one-shoulder. Shudder.

Whoa, that is one oddly cut dress on Lashinda Demus. The cut out on Alex Morgan’s dress is equally odd. Also, I need some support on my dislike for one-shoulder dresses. They’re too played out, right? I’m going to be reactionary and conservative and say that cowl necks just don’t belong on gowns. Alissa Johnson’s dress looks very nice and so does her hair and makeup, but I feel like the cowl neck spoils everything.

Okay hands down, Alexis Page has the best make up of the night. I love love LOVE seeing hot pink lips on the red carpet. The dress is really saucy too. I especially love the leather top. My only minor quibble is that her shoes are a bit on the plain, safe side. That is one architectural ruffle on Holly Hunter’s skirt. Her outfit looks like a mish mash of too many ideas, some boring, and some exciting. Okay, we already saw these two ladies, but don’t Billie Jean King and Katherine Olson compliment each other somehow?

Yikes, I really don’t like the cowl neck (COWL NECK!) on Cat Osterman’s dress, but pewter gray looks fabulous on her. I’m scrambling to find another way to say, basic black dress, but that’s the beauty of the basic black dress, it inspires no words. I like Angela Ruggiero’s glittery shrug though. Bonnie Bernstein’s dress seems a little tight up top, and has weird puckering going on. It also looks like she’s barefoot!

Yay! A dress with style! I love Skier Grete Eliassen’s dress. It’s flirty, it’s classy, it’s subdued, and it looks both comfortable and pretty. Motocross rider Ashley Fiolek’s dress has style too, but it’s not my kind of style. I hate the hot pink earrings and the matching sash and the matching shoes. I’m also over dresses that have that folded up napkin thing going on. I really dig the proportions on soccer player Christine Rampone’s top and skirt. See! It’s possible to look super stylish in all black. I love the feathery top with her slinky skirt and the gold accents on her clutch.

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